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Coleman v. McDonald

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division

June 26, 2015



MICHAEL T. PARKER, Magistrate Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [34]. Having carefully considered the parties' submissions and the applicable law, the Court finds that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [34] should be granted in part and denied in part, and that Plaintiff's claim for deliberate indifference should be dismissed with prejudice. Additionally, the Court will deny Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [19] as moot.


Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. This lawsuit arises from alleged events that occurred while Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Lamar County Jail (LCJ). Plaintiff filed his complaint on or about August 18, 2014.[1] Plaintiff's claims were clarified and amended at his Spears [2] hearing and include complaints of excessive force and inadequate medical care.

Plaintiff alleges that on May 28, 2014, he was being escorted from his holding cell at the LCJ and was wearing handcuffs and leg chains.[3] He alleges that Defendant Landon McDonald, an officer with the Lamar County Sheriff's Department ordered him to face the wall.[4] Plaintiff asserts that he faced the wall initially but then turned his head because another narcotics officer called his name.[5] Plaintiff alleges that Defendant first pushed Plaintiff's face into the wall, and then "slammed" him onto the ground, chipping his front teeth and causing his teeth to cut through his lip.[6] Finally, Plaintiff alleges that he did not receive medical care until approximately one week later, when he received iodine to treat the cut on his lip.[7]

On March 16, 2015, Defendant filed his Motion for Summary Judgment [34] and Supporting Memorandum [35]. In the Motion, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and has failed to show any physical injury.[8] Defendant also argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity.[9]


In his complaint, Plaintiff sought only injunctive relief in the form of the Defendant receiving a formal reprimand, suspension from duty without pay, and termination of Defendant from the Lamar County Sheriff's Department.[10] On October 23, 2014, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss on grounds that Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated in the LCJ, and, therefore, his requests for injunctive relief were moot.[11]

However, on December 10, 2014, Plaintiff clarified and amended his relief sought by his sworn testimony at a Spears hearing. See Flores, 405 Fed.App'x. at 932; Riley, 828 F.2d at 307. At the Spears hearing, Plaintiff requested both monetary damages and injunctive relief.[12] Accordingly, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [19] is denied as moot.


A motion for summary judgment will be granted only when "the record indicates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.'" Causey v. Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc., 394 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)); see also Celotex Corp. V. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Genuine issues of material fact are to be resolved in favor of the non-moving party. Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).

The movant "bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for motion and identifying those portions of [the record] in the case which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. Once the movant presents a properly supported Motion for Summary Judgment, the nonmoving party must rebut it with "significant probative evidence" that demonstrates the existence of a genuine issue of material fact. Ferguson v. Nat'l Broad. Co., Inc., 584 F.2d 111, 114 (5th Cir. 1978). In the absence of proof, the court does not "assume that the nonmoving party could or would prove the necessary facts." Little, 37 F.3d at 1075. When confronted with a proper motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party cannot rest on his pleadings and must designate "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.


Qualified Immunity ...

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